Five women classmates from a college in Tokyo are on the first stretch of a walking tour when one of them, Masako, falls ill at a railway station. Osen, a middle-aged maid from a nearby inn, takes her in and nurses her, assisted by Dr. Minami, a young physician who diagnoses her illness as a mild case of pneumonia. With Masako in good hands and needing a few days to recuperate, her classmates continue their tour. Masako’s recovery, however, is hampered by her spoiled and immature nature and her determination to punish the world for the loss of her mother. —Arthur Nolletti Jr.
Heinosuke Gosho (1902–1981) began his career in 1925 as a disciple of Yasujiro Shimazu at Shochiku Studio. Young Gosho immediately proved his skill at the genre of “shomin-geki,” stories of the life of ordinary people, characteristic of his mentor’s work at that studio. Gosho’s early films were criticized as “unsound” because they often involved characters physically or mentally handicapped ( The Village Bride and Faked Daughter ). Gosho’s intention, however, was to illustrate a kind of warm and sincere relationship born in pathos. Today, these films are highly esteemed for their critique of feudalistic village life. Gosho was affected by this early criticism, however, and made his next films about other subjects. This led him into a long creative slump, although he continued to make five to seven films annually.
The first film by Gosho to attract attention was Lonely Hoodlum of 1927, a depiction of the bittersweet life of common people, Gosho’s characteristic subject. In 1931… read more
The initial film made by Gosho's independent production company, one of the first of its kind in Japan, this tender, poignant, and often strikingly lyrical drama about a young woman's personal and spiritual growth might not serve as a prototypical example of the mood affectionately known as "Goshoism"—a distinctive blend of comedy and tears, or, more officially, "something which makes you laugh and cry at the same time"— but it nonetheless showcases the director's innate ability to resolutely nourish and curb a sense of pathos with slices of humor. The film also amply displays Gosho's propensity for shooting on-location, an element that puts him in the company of Shimizu Hiroshi, his one-time Shochiku associate (like many of his colleagues, Gosho was most influenced at the studio by Shimazu Yasujiro). Dispersed Clouds is co-written by Tanaka Sumie, one of the founders of the aforementioned company, who worked with Naruse on some of his greatest films of the Fifties, including such masterpieces as Flowing and Anzukko.